Dual probes with multiple programming options
Approximately 250- to 300-foot wireless range
Lost connection alarm
Count up/down timer
Grill/BBQ temperature check
Probes aren’t physically labeled
No button/control lock
Grilling is an art that takes time to perfect. If you’re on the hunt for a wireless grill thermometer that can help you make mouth-watering steaks, burgers, and chicken breast, you’ll want to add the ThermoPro TP20 Wireless Meat Thermometer to your shortlist. With an impressive number of features, you’ll be grilling far more than just meat. It can help with veggies, pizza, and basically anything you can toss on a grill. Read on to get our take this thermometer’s ability to get professional results the next time you smoke, grill, or barbecue.
Performance: Consistent and accurate
With more cases of foodborne illness hitting the newsstands every day, you can't be too careful when it comes to properly preparing food. The TP20 comes with pre-programmed USDA-approved temperature settings for various meats. The only type of meat not included on the list was venison, but the broader category settings are probably close enough. The presets definitely brought peace of mind as we didn't have to Google minimum temperature standards before cooking; we simply found it on the thermometer’s list and set our taste (AKA doneness) preference.
Of course, a thermometer is only good as it is accurate, so that’s the first thing we checked with the TP20. Using boiling water—which we know boils at 212°F at sea level—we dipped the TP20 in and got a reading of 211°F. ThermoPro advertises an accuracy level of + or -1.8°F, so their claims held true.
The thermometer’s transmitter—AKA the actual thermometer part into which the probes are connected—rotates the temperature display between probe one and two. It’s a good-sized display and is easy to read. However, it doesn't offer as much information as the remote receiver.
The remote has a larger display and houses the thermometer’s controls. The display is broken up into a three-part grid. The first cycles between probe one and two, displaying the type of meat being cooked as well as the taste selected, which determines the final cooking temperature and doneness.
A thermometer is only good as it is accurate, so that’s the first thing we checked with the TP20. Using boiling water—which we know boils at 212°F at sea level—we dipped the TP20 in and got a reading of 211°F.
The second row of the grid displays probe one's settings. On the left-hand side, it shows the final temperature while on the right is the actual temperature of the meat. The third row displays the same information for probe two. We loved this feature because we could monitor progress and see quickly the meat was cooking. If you're planning other dishes, you can get a good idea of when and how quickly you’ll need to get them ready.
ThermoPro advertises a range of 300 feet. We can attest to 250 feet, but some may be able to reach the full 300 feet barring any physical barriers—like cement walls or trees—between the transmitter and the receiver. We found the range was plenty adequate for walking around our yard and between the kitchen and grill.
Rather than carry the remote in our pocket, though, we found it most useful to place it in a central location where we could glance at it while we went about other activities. For example, we kept it in the kitchen while we prepared side dishes and set the table. On another occasion, we set it on the front porch while working in the yard. The thermometer makes grilling far more convenient as we were able to get work done out front without having to run back and forth to the backyard to check on the progress of our food.
Finally, there's the thermometer’s alarm. Not only is it loud, but the display on the remote turns a bright orange and flashes, providing a visual indicator that your food is done cooking. We mowed the lawn while grilling and while the lawnmower drowned out the alarm, the flashing screen was hard to miss. The alarm will still go off even if you lose wireless connection, so you don’t have to worry about your food going to waste because you walked a few feet out of range.
Settings: Presets that matter
The TP20’s presets and setting options take the guesswork out of grilling. Because you leave the probes in place during cooking, you can watch the temperature progress without losing heat by opening the grill. Each probe can also be independently programmed to a preset temperature based on the type and cut of meat as well as the "taste" you prefer. Meat presets include ground beef, ground poultry, beef, veal, chicken, pork, poultry, lamb, and fish.
The presets automatically determine the final temperature. There's also a "program" and an "oven" setting. The first allows you to set the temperature manually, while the latter measures the overall temperature of the grill. If you're worried about fluctuating temperatures, this setting lets you monitor your meat with one probe and the grill with the other.
After you've selected your meat, you also have to select the "taste" level. Your options are rare, medium rare, medium, medium well, and well done. The final temperature is then automatically adjusted according to the "taste" you selected.
We loved that each probe functions independently. They can be set to a different type of meat as well as taste. Not everyone enjoys a rare steak at our house, so we're often cooking hamburgers or chicken as a second option. This thermometer lets everyone get a meal that’s been safely and perfectly timed.
Design: Great functionality with a few minor flaws
The TP20 is good at what it does and makes it easy to check your meat without tying you to the grill. It has a maximum temperature reading of 572°F, but can withstand temperatures up to 712°F.
The display on both the transmitter and receiver are easy to read—even from a distance. It's also fairly easy to scroll through and pick your settings. However, read through the owner’s manual and keep it at the ready the first few times you use the thermometer. While the controls aren’t difficult, they're not exactly intuitive. As long as you can follow basic instructions, you should be fine.
We've worked with a previous TP20, and found that ThermoPro has made a few notable upgrades. First, the probe ports on the transmitter are labeled one and two. Previous models weren't, which meant you had to remember which one was which. While we love and appreciate this upgrade, we feel it could go a step farther by adding an identifying mark or label on the probes themselves.
The TP20 is good at what it does and makes it easy to check your meat without tying you to the grill.
The leads are long, braided stainless steel (long enough for large grills), which means you have to trace your way from meat to probe or vice versa. That whole process may only take a minute or two, but if the probes were labeled or color-coded, it would make it easier to remove the right piece of meat.
Second, we have to applaud ThermoPro on their change in probe design. Previous models had an angled probe that could slip towards the grill. Since the probes aren't supposed to be exposed to an open flame, that could be a problem. However, the model we tested had straight probes so there's no risk of the probe sliding up or down during cooking. As with other cooking thermometers, the probes should be fully inserted away from any bone for the best results.
Our last design note is one small place where the TP20 comes up short. It didn’t hurt our results, but it could for someone else. There’s no button or control lock. It’s possible to hit the setting buttons if you bumped into a handle or cupboard while wearing the remote. We didn't have that problem, but without a lock, we could see it happening. It’s also possible for a child to get ahold of the remote and change the settings. In that case, you would be surprised to find your meat undercooked or charbroiled once the alarm goes off.
Timer: Cook more than meat
We've mostly talked about how you can use the TP20 to cook meat, but it's designed for other foods, too. This thermometer can also aid in cooking vegetables, pizzas, and desserts. It has a timer that can be set to count down or up, so you can manually set it to keep track of whatever you throw on the grill.
Battery Life: Auto shut off saves the day
You can’t talk about any wireless device without addressing battery life. The TP20’s whole system requires four AAA batteries, which are included, and has an excellent run time. Battery life will depend on how often and what kind of cooking you're doing. For example, if you're smoking a large cut of meat for 12 to 14 hours, you're going to go through batteries faster than if you use the thermometer to cook a steak each night. But, in general, it's not a power sucker. It also has an auto-shutoff feature that turns the unit off after it hasn't been in use for 30 minutes. So, if you happen to leave it on, it's not going to eat up your batteries before you discover it.
The TP20 falls in the mid to high price range for wireless meat thermometers. For the accuracy and reliability with which it performs, we think it's worth every penny. Add a great list of presets, bright display, and visual/audible alarm and you've got a thermometer that can truly change the way you cook.
Competition: It’s hard to beat the accuracy and presets
Soraken GM-001 Bluetooth Wireless Meat Thermometer: If two probes aren’t enough for you, look into the Saroken. While the thermometer doesn’t have the range or presets of the TP20, but the $85 device does have four probes that report info back to a free app.
Zvation Digital Meat Thermometer: The Zvation doesn’t have the range, durability, or accuracy of the TP20, but it does have a good list of presets and can be used as a timer. For $50, the two-probe thermometer will save you a few bucks while still getting the job done.
Maverick ET-733 Long Range Wireless Meat Thermometer: The $65 Maverick has similar features and performance to the TP20, including range and presets. However, it lacks the same durability and reliability. Save yourself a few dollars and the headache of having to replace it by investing in the TP20.
- Product Name TP20 Wireless Meat Thermometer
- Product Brand ThermoPro
- MPN TP20
- Price $59.99
- Weight 1 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 6.4 x 2.4 x 5.9 in.
- What’s Included Two probes with holder, grill clip, digital thermometer (transmitter), remote control receiver (receiver), four AAA batteries